I've taken a year off - How to get back into it the right way? (nutrition + training)
I'm currently a junior in college. I raced my freshman and sophomore years for my collegiate team, and I had a lot of fun. I always raced as a "C" and was planning on moving up to B's this year (probably would have been pack-fodder last year as I was always in contention for most of the C races).
Last December 2005 I woke up one weekend morning and realized the inside of my right knee, almost under the knee cap was in pretty much severe pain. Didn't know what happened, stupidly I rode a few times like that before finally going to a doctor and a physical therapist. It seemed that a tightness/muscle imbalance in my laticerus medialis was causing my knee-cap to grind on the soft, smooth part underneath it - inflaming both areas and causing pain. My left knee was about 99% as bad as the right. I began a stretching program (previously I never stretched...) and took some time off from cycling (during what should have been my highest training time). I raced and did pretty well - took two podiums, a couple top 10s, and a prime win in the last race. All of this despite the fact I could barely train. I stopped going on / leading group rides because I was afraid to push myself too hard and have my knees hurt the next day. I basically just went to the races most weekends and even some of those I had to drop out after the frist day (with 2 events). By the end of the collegiate season my knees were still bugging me.
I had one target USCF race and my knees ended up forcing me to drop out of the RR portion of it (I threw a chain in the ITT and was caught behind a crash in the Crit). Then I got a new bike which I had been saving up for. The last of the CAAD8's, a Cannondale R1000c. Really a super-sweet bike. Yet it still sits with less than 500miles on it in my room. Before I could even dial the bike in I got so burned out I basically just stopped riding. I used to have so much fun and it became a chore. I stopped shaving my legs (good thing cause its freakin cold this winter).
I decided I wouldn't race much this year after going back and forth on the issue for a while. I resigned from my post as one of 4 chief officers of the cycling club, letting people down I'm sure. I think I'm just going through some serious burnout. I plan on riding RAGBRAI this summer with my dad as a fun thing / mild training. I was once riding so much I struggled to stay above 165. Now I eat like ****, don't get much activity and I'm probably closer to 185, although still what most people would consider "slim."
I want to turn it around and get back in shape to race competitively as a Men's B / Cat 4 by next spring (which will be spring of 2008). I'm fairly busy with school and right now there's snow on the ground and its cold. I do have a good amount of time in the summer though. I'm looking to do some stuff in the gym to hopefully help me get in good shape without being on the bike right away. Maybe by this spring/summer I'd like to be able to jump into some moderate group-rides and be able to hang. Those kind of rides are what I really enjoyed and I feel like being injured pulled me away from that and made me ride solo, which is boring as hell and a chore.
So what are some good things I can be doing at the gym to help get back in shape? My girlfriend goes sometimes and wouldn't be opposed to us going more often maybe twice a week. I can maybe squeeze in once by myself for the less "social" times (I can do cardio with her, but she's not into lifting much so if I do that it could be on the solo day).
Nutritionally I'm looking for a simple diet that won't leave me unable to workout. I'm trying to burn fat first I guess, as well as build muscle (although I feel like that should come a bit later after I get some good "base" so its not hugely important that I pack on muscle). Weekdays I can eat 3 meals a day in the dorms on campus. I've decided to do this because 1. it saves money 2. it saves time 3. there is a wide selection 4. when I was slim as hell I was eating there all the time.
I eat mostly the same stuff everyday. This is pretty much how I ate when I was riding all the time, in about the same quantities except then I ate more cake/cookies (a slice of cake and/or 4 cookies with lunch and dinner). I sense that I still have a pretty fast metabolism now that I'm looking at this, but not as good as when I was riding.
1 16oz glass of Skim Milk
5 strips of bacon
3 hashbrown patties / equivalent amount of tator tots
1 donut, cake, frosted
3 slices of pizza
1 160z glass of skim milk
I've been having frozen pizza or something at home with a glass of Kool-Aid
God that looks horrible. Not sure what I should do... I'm thinking something like this would be appropriate:
1 16oz glass of milk
2 pieces of whole-wheat toast with butter/margarine
2 hashbrown patties
1 Small bowl of Cheerios with Skim Milk
Pasta with marinara sauce
1 16oz glass of "light" lemonade (honestly people I hate drinking plain water...)
Chicken with small side of pasta
Small Salad with olive oil / vinegarette
1 16oz glass of "light" lemonade
1 16oz glass of skim milk
(in reality dinner and lunch could be swtiched)
During the Day:
2.0-3.0L of 50% strength gatorade or "light" lemonade (like I said, I can't stand water, 3L of plain water would make me puke, yuck).
"Active" multivitamin at night before bed
A bottle of 50% Gatorade per hour while riding / working out.
A bottle of 100% Gatorade + Glutamine after a ride / work out. (did this when I was racing, not sure if its really needed when just working out or riding "base")
Anyway, how does that diet look? Keep in mind its cut back quite a bit from what it was when I was riding 4 times a week.
As far as the workouts go I'm clueless. Figure about 90 minutes of workout time, 3 times a week. Once it gets a bit warmer, I'll start riding on the in-between days (2 hr rides or so, base - probably by myself because everyone I know is gearing up to go hard for racing). Possibly phasing down into 2 days in the gym in the spring, with possibly less over the summer (my g/f and I will then prefer hiking, walking, etc to being inside).
I can also use the trainer, but it seems like at low intensities I'd need to go for soo... long....